Question ...

Kelly - posted on 11/19/2008 ( 48 moms have responded )

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Scarlett was born at 33 weeks and is currently almost 3 weeks old. Every dr we've spoken to (the peditrician and the NICU dr) says we should treat her like a regular newborn in regards to taking her out. My husband and I are paranoid, I guess and have only taken her out for short trips. What did everyone else do? Did you keep your premie inside for a certain amount of time or did you take them out like a normal newborn?



thanks!

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Tiffany - posted on 01/23/2009

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Kelly,

I am a fellow 33 weeker mom. My son was born during RSV season so I did not take him out much until the Spring. It was hard as we live somewhere that experiences a long cold winter so we were stuck indoors a lot but his health was well worth it. Do what makes you comfortable. Good luck.

Holly - posted on 01/13/2009

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Hey,



I was paranoid too. But what I found was that the worst places to take our little guy was to the doctors office and to daycare. I swear every time we had to sit for any amount of time in the doctor's office he would come down with something...and daycare, there's just no way to keep germs out of there. But before I had to take him to daycare I was a huge fan of clorox hard surface....I even put a small travel sized hairspray container in the diaper bag....an essential for trips to the store. I liked it because it doesn't leave any harmful residual...it's even oked for eating surfaces.

Good luck, just remember, you're the Mom, you do know best!!

Melanie - posted on 01/13/2009

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I personally was a paranoid freak for the first about 6 months I wouldn't go out unless absolutely necessary and didn't let anyone come over either but I think I overreacted just a little LOL!!! I think with any new baby you should be cautious about when to take them out but with a preemie they are more suseptible to catching something. So I think only taking her on short trips when necessary is the best option, but you should really do what you feel is right for your baby!! Hope this helps you and your family!!!! God Bless

Lea - posted on 01/12/2009

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I took my son out to like, grandmas, which is 10 min away, quick trips to grocery store, but he was born in start of may and came home on memorial day weekend... so weather was pretty warm...if he was a winter baby i would probably be just as panicky... lol (he was born at 33 1/2 weeks, and had no respritory/lung issues...

Leanne - posted on 01/12/2009

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Katelyn was born at 34 weeks, came home at 3 weeks old (xmas eve) and I did not treat her any different than I did my first child.(who was FT)  I had her dressed warm, covered her car seat when not in the car, yada,yada. But that was my comfort level, you do what feels right for you and dont let anyone tell you different :) One of my friends only took her baby out for Doc appts things like that until he was about 3 months oldand he was FT. in the summer.

Amy - posted on 01/02/2009

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My son was born at 28 weeks, he is one year old. He has chronic lung disease and is on strict quarantine during RSV season (he is receiving synagis). We don't take him anywhere and limit visitors, especially young children. During the summer he attended family reunions and birthday parties. We just limited handling and asked everyone to wash their hands before touching him.



A lot depends on Scarlett's overall health and where you live. In our community 5 babies (full-term, healthy babies) have already been life-flighted due to RSV (we do not have a PICU).



Basic hygenie and common sense can go a long way in protecting your baby. Follow your instincts.

Adriana - posted on 01/01/2009

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Hi Kelly. My son was also born at 33 weeks and we were also very paranoid (I think the NICU does that to you...). In any event, we did not take him out to crowded places (like the mall) until after his first set of shots at 2 months. And even then it was just once! My advice is do whatever feels right to you.

[deleted account]

My four year old was born at 26 weeks and came home from the NICU in January (about 10 days before his due date). His doctor said keep him at home and that is what I did (not counting his many doctor appointments). While I think it was probably best for him since it was RSV season, I did feel stir crazy being at home by myself with this little baby. I don't know that I would change much except that I would make sure I got out of the house even if he did not.

Liz - posted on 12/31/2008

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That shocks me! My son was born at 33wks and was in the nicu for 25 days. We were told by the nicu to keep him home for 3-6 months. We only allowed adults who were not sick to come over and visit and had to wash their hands when then came in the door, and I didn't take him out to the store, only over to my in-laws house. When he was 3-4 months we started to go out more and I let some of the relatives kids see him. He was born in August, so it was fall/winter, kids were in school, rsv season. He also got the shot once a month to prevent rsv through the season. My son is now 2yrs and is healthy for the most part.

Emma - posted on 12/31/2008

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hi kelly, my little boy was born at 23 weeks - he is now 2 1/2 and came off oxygen only 4 months ago, i know how you feel about being paranoid as they are extremely vulnerable when they're premature, it took a long time before i could bring myself to take charlie out and about believe me eventually it will come naturally - they are much more resiliant than you think they are - i kept charlie away from big crowds and other children for a very long time but going out for walks or to the supermarket are all things you'll get used to i promise! I hope everything goes well with you and your beautiful little girl - you're not alone xx

[deleted account]

On another note you aren't supposed to take your full term baby out until they are 6 weeks old anyway because of their immune systems.

Cindy - posted on 12/31/2008

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ps. I **really** recommend not keeping yourself or the baby holed up at home. Get out at least once a day. There's nothing like a bad case of post-partum depression to make a sick baby seem like a picnic in the park! So take that baby out for walks and shopping and visits, but just take normal precautions, and have a wonderful time with your newborn. Staying at home is a sure fire recipe for a case of the blues.

Cindy - posted on 12/31/2008

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my girls were born at 30 weeks and my son was born at 34 weeks. Once the baby goes home you should absolutely treat her like a healthy new born and take her out. And just like you would with a healthy newborn, don't let people touch her hands, and wash your hands constantly to keep germs from getting to her. Nothing wrong with a gern now and again but having a newborn sick with even a minor cold, healthy full term or not, is awful. Mostly because they can't nurse or take a bottle with a stuffed nose. So relax, nothing scary is out there that washing hands and taking normal precautions won't stop.

[deleted account]

I know you have a lot of responses, but I haven't read them. We were told to not take our 33 week preemie out or to allow anyone to hold her for six months. You are in flu season right now and it goes until May. We were told to cover her up if we had to take her somewhere. We didn't let anyone hold her until flu season was over. It was difficult, but worth it. That is what we were told in the NICU and by her regular doctor.

Tara - posted on 12/31/2008

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I was told that the day she was originally due would be a good day to begin the "normal" newborn treatment. So until then, keep her safe at home....

Jennifer - posted on 12/30/2008

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My son was born at 34 weeks and was in the hospital for 20 days. The doctors and nurses in the ICN told us to not take our baby out in large public settings from Nov- April which is RSV season and he did not qualify for the shots. We only take him out to see Grandmom and Grandpop and for famikly gatherings. If my neice or nephew are sick then we will not go over. The most important thing to remember is not have a lot of people touching your baby. I get together with my cousin and her baby who was born at 30 weeks once a week to get out of the house. I will not take him out until April andn for now my mom will come over and watch him if I need to go out for something. Good luck!

Frombly - posted on 12/30/2008

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Everything you are feeling is normal. My little girl was born at 30 weeks and was in the hospital for 5 weeks. I was so scared to let anyone hold her outside of my control! The doctors are right, you need to treat her the same as a regular newborn. The important thing is to keep her away from people who smoke and who are sick! Trust the doctors they have your little one's best intrests at heart!

Ashley - posted on 12/29/2008

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well for what i went through with toxemia ecclampsia it was full blown we almost died if they didnt deliver my daughter when they did we would both be dead .i was in pain for four months it was an emergency c section i was unconcious so course with my baby being preemie and everything i was afraid to do much i took her out when we needed to go places other than that i didnt take her out .

Dana - posted on 12/29/2008

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My son was born at 31 weeks. He was in NICU for a month. By then he was 5 lbs. and we were able to treat him like a 'regular' baby. We were still careful, but not ridiculously overparanoid. Today he is a healthy 4yr old with no health issues.

Hope this helps...

Shea - posted on 12/27/2008

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Hi! My son was born at 34 weeks and was under 5lbs when we came home...pretty tiny. I started taking him out right away...just short trips to the store or mall...family etc. He was totally fine and it really got him used to being out and about quickly. He is now 8 mos and has never been sick...not even a runny nose! Except for the teething "stuffiness" they sometimes get. I have taken him pretty much everywhere with me...none of my doctors said anything about keeping him in...just to use common sense and be mindful of washing hand and sanitizing stuff. He was so small at the beginning that not many people were comfortable handling and holding him so he wasn't passed from person to person like some new babies are. Just use your instincts....you know your baby best and you will instinctively know what is best for her.

Alexandra - posted on 12/26/2008

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Hi i had Leila at 27 weeks she is 2 now, she spent 4 months on nicu but when she came home she went everywhere with me from the start except for last winter i kept her in bit more as it was rsv season the only time she really went out then was trips to a&e for chest/breathin problems. I think it all depends on how you feel and what you think is best for them xx

User - posted on 12/26/2008

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I think it depends how early your preemie is. 33 weeks is tiny but not too bad. My daughter was born at only 27 weeks. Do NOT treat them like a regular baby in regards to going out. Everything else yes. My doctor always said around this time of year - from Thanksgiving until the first couple of weeks in January try to keep them away from the public. It is the busiest time in the stores - people go shopping no matter how they are feeling. People sneeze all over and touch everything - it is too much for a preemie. It is much safer to keep the baby home during this time. You should also ask about RSV shots. My daughter was home and very limited to visitors and going out in public that first year. She never got even the sniffles. Keep sick people away, please ask friends and family to be considerate of this. My daughter is completely caught up and had minimal problems but will get sick if the wind blows, so I still ask people to stay away if they are not feeling well.

Stephanie - posted on 12/17/2008

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Hi Kelly! My son was born t 26 weeks and he was able to come home at 3 months old. I kept him home for about 2 weeks straight then I felt comfortable enough to take him out regularly. I just made sure that he was able to get him Synagis shot for RSV and I felt completely comfortable. Just make sure she's dressed properly for the weather. He's a year now and I still cover him with a blanket in the cold weather.

Amy - posted on 12/17/2008

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I love that name Scarlett! What a pretty girl! My son was born 3 1/2 weeks early, so not technically a preemie since he wasn't in NICU. He was 5 lbs 14 oz and was so tiny but so hardy. We took him out like a regular full term baby and just made sure to do lots of hand washing and hand sanitizer. Anyone who was sick wasn't allowed over and we really limited his exposure to other children. (they tend to carry the most sicknesses around :( He is 9 1/2 months old and hasn't gotten sick yet and we hope to make it through flu season without incident. Good luck. I'm sure you'll find something that will fit your needs.

Lauren - posted on 12/17/2008

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Hi Kelly,

My daughter was a 24 weeker and spent her first winter in the NICU. But when she came home (still on oxygen andmonitor) I tried to take her out and about as much as sensibly possible. That being said, I didnt expose her to sick people or even kids who were in daycare that might soon be sick. But i took her for walks, to outdoor things like festivals and ocassional music class. But, if she were just home in the fall or winter, I think i would have kept her alot more isolated...as I am doing with her now (since this is only her second winter and she still has sick lungs). I say it is all in good sense. Keep her away from places where there might be sick people but walks on warmer days were a godsend for me...you have to stay sane too!



Best of luck :)

Kayde - posted on 12/16/2008

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My daughter was born about 4 weeks early and I had her out at about 10 days old. It was a warm day and I felt it was okay. I really needed to get out of the house! I didn't let anyone touch her and we didn't stay out very long.

Amy - posted on 12/08/2008

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I completely understand your concerns. Our son was born 7 weeks early and spent 23 days in the hospital. Once we got him home we kept him home. People could come and visit but we didn't invite anyone over. They had to wash their hands and put a blanket over their shirt when they held him. We kept kids away to keep him safe from germs. In my opinion, keep her home and enjoy every second of this time because once its gone, it is just plain gone. ENJOY EVERY SECOND! And sleep when you can!

Barb - posted on 12/08/2008

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My son was born @ 28wks, spent 13wks in NICU and came home on oxygen - in November. - we kept him in for a few weeks. But we all had cabin fever & since the only place we'd gotten to go for 3 months was the NICU we started venturing out - oxygen and all. Started with little trips and got longer as I got more comfortable being out with him. My husband is a chiropractor so my child received regular adjustments from the beginning. We just kept his immune system functioning properly & he never got sick. He ended up with pink eye once when we finally put him in a home day care setting. Otherwise in 4 years I can count on one hand the times he's been sick - including colds! We are very lucky in that respect - not so lucky in other ways, but that's probably for a different discussion. As everyone said - the mommy's comfort level is so important - go with your gut.

Sarah - posted on 12/07/2008

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hi congratulations, my baby was born at 28wks weighing 1lb, 7oz she came home on oxygen so it was hard for me to take her out any way we only took her to our locial supper market when it was quiet she went in hospital after being home a week for a op on her hernia of the groin she cought a cold or something while she was there and developed a chest infection i kept her in from then on but when times came when i had no choice but to take her out with us she picked things up really quick so i then started to take her out all the time and she has not had a sniffle since so being to careful could not be for the best she is now 10 months old and happy and healthy.

Jodie - posted on 12/06/2008

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Hi Kelly, congratulations on th birth of your daughter. My daughter was born at 33weeks emergency c-section. she came out at 3 pounds half an ounce and th size of 29 weeks. she spent 19 days in hospital nicu, had dropped down to 2 pounds 6 ounces. she was sent home at 3 pounds 7 ounces Besides being so small she was healthy. i was very paranoid to take her anywhere. i didn't know what to expect having a preemie but my sister being a foster parent were over at my house constanty. 6 other kids 4 in school. i was very worried bout her catching anything (at that time i had never heard of rsv) but she was completely fine. for the months that passed. it wasn't until April cassie was 6 months old when i thought what was just a cold her first one, turned out to be rsv. she was hospitilized for 6 days. those 6 days i was told so many different things of what to do and how to do it, when she was relased i let my instincts take over and did what i was comfortable with. ive done that all along. she was 3 weeks old when she had her first trip to walmart. and seeing such a small baby everyone was oogling over her. my advice to you would be to take Scarett out when you feel comfortable and are ready. You can't predict when a child is going to get sick but with all the different viruses and bacteria out there you can only do so much to protect them. preemie or not all kids are bound to get sick eventually. My daughter will be 14 months on the 19th and she has been healthy and happy minus the teething.

Misty - posted on 11/29/2008

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WHen my son finally came out of the NICU and was home we did take him out but if we went to see family- no one had to be sick-not even the sniffles- had to wash their hands and not get too close to his face. He was on oxygen when he came out so it wasn't always easy to go out with him...but we didnt' hibernate him either. I think it's perfectly normal to be paranoid to take out your preemie...but you don't want to shelter your baby too much, and to care for him/her like a regular newborn.

Kelly - posted on 11/28/2008

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We began taking my daughter out as soon as the temperature was decent. She was also born at 33 weeks and spent 19 days in the NICU. The only thing I'd advise you is to keep her bundled up and hands hidden to strangers don't stick their icky fingers in and germ her up. If your doctors say it's okay...then go whenever YOU are ready! Enjoy her!

Monica - posted on 11/28/2008

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Hi Kelly,
Congratulations first of all! My son was born at 33 weeks. He was a bit grunty with his breathing, but that sorted itself out within an hour of birth. Other than that, he was just tiny and spent 26 days in hospital trying to put some weight on. He was born in Jan 2007 and we were told to keep him away from crowds for the remainder of flu season which was the end of March. The reasoning was that all infants have immature immune systems and so are particularly susceptible to whatever bugs might be floating around. We pretty much followed that advice and went to visit friends and family (and they came to us too) occasionally, but only if they were feeling well. I didn't take him to the mall, or the zoo, or any crowded public space for the first 3 months because I felt he had spent enough time in hospital and I certainly did not want to go through that again if he got sick with the flu or RSV, etc. My son will be turning 2 on Jan 2nd. He has developed completely normally (except that he is still small, but so is our whole family). He has had colds (his first was at 8 months) and stomach viruses, but no more frequently than a term infant would have had. Hope this helps. Take good care! Monica

Michelle - posted on 11/28/2008

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my son was born at 35 wks. our ped suggested we didn't take him out to the stores until he was 3 mths old. he only went to drs visits and to see family. after 3 mths, everything was fine and he started to go shopping w/us and we've had no problems since then. currently, he'll be 3 in dec.

Tali - posted on 11/26/2008

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Hi there. :) My twins were born at 32 weeks and came home from the NICU after about 6 weeks. They came home at the end of August.

We were pretty careful that first fall and winter. I didn't want to risk RSV, even though they got monthly RSV shots. We did go to church and shopping occasionally, but we were really careful about people touching them.

RSV is a scary thing - I just didn't want to risk it.

I would go with your gut. If you feel like she needs fresh air, just go for a little walk outside. There is nothing to say that she has to be around people and in public at this age.

Do what feels right for you and your family. :)

Margaret - posted on 11/26/2008

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treat her like a normal child...that will help her to develop as she should. remember she is not a china doll even though she may look like one.

Rachel - posted on 11/26/2008

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My son was born at 33 weeks and once home, as long as we werent around someone who was sick, we took him out as much as a full term baby and he is now 13 months old and has only been sick once. We just made sure before anyone held him or touched him, they used hand sanitizer.

Michele - posted on 11/25/2008

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My little guy..now almost 4 was born nine weeks early, and was in the NICU for three weeks (came home one week before Christmas). We lived in Wisconsin at the time, and it was a cold nasty winter, and RSV season, so we kept him home all the time, except for doctor appointments. I am glad the choice was easy for us there was no way I was taking him out in the cold. As others say, you know your baby, my gut instinct is to play it safe, and keep them at home.

Annesa - posted on 11/21/2008

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Go with your gut feeling! Our daughter was born at 25 weeks weighing a pound and a half. She came home right at the start of rsv season. Our doctors suggested we keep her home for the first year and even suggested that I (an elementary school teacher) take a long term leave of absense until April when rsv season was over so that I wouldn't bring anything home to her. That was simply impossible for us to do, but we did limit her in daycare time to only three days a week for the first year. Afton came through great and never got a sniffle but I truely believe we were just lucky!! RSV and other infections are too much to risk. When you compare six months of staying home to an entire life time it doesn't seem so long.

Karen - posted on 11/21/2008

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From the day i brought my daughter home (she was born at 30.5weeks) we took her everywhere we went even to a 50th birthday a few days after she came home where she was admired and passed around and enjoyed by family and friends. We took her everywhere picnics on weekends, the beach and all, and she was hardly sick or had any problem, but did become very adaptable and would sleep and feed while we were out without any problem. Dont be afraid my prem is 16 and a fantastic young lady.

Robyn - posted on 11/21/2008

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I think I basically agree with all of the above. Do what you feel comfortable with. I will tell you that my son was born at 31 weeks at 4.1 pounds. I did not take him out too much for the first few months, but I did have a lot of visitors. I think for me a big part of not taking him out was that he was on a heart monitor and it was a hassle to bring that, a baby bag and an infant. However, I also believe that everyone needs a pound of dirt in this world and my pediatrician agrees with this theory as well. I would also ask your pediatrician about the shot to prevent the RSV virus. This might put your mind at ease about taking your daughter out and about. I know it was available for my son specifically because he was a preemie. I think it is given monthly and I know he got his first shot before he left the NICU, but he was a winter baby. Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 11/21/2008

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Parents always know what's best for babies.. Do only what you are comfortable with..I limited "handling" by others, I didn't feel comfortable with her being "passed" around when there was a big crowd. I also limited long trips as well, because I was sure that sitting in a carseat for any length of time could not possibly really comfortable, so. just take your time, do what you are comfortable with and watch how your baby reacts...he/she will give cues as to what she is ok with...good luck!! oh yes... hand washing and sanitizer was a must for me though, as colds and flus are dangerous for preemies, especially if they have any respiratory issues, as my daughter had..

Renee - posted on 11/21/2008

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I guess I too was careful to begin with, but he was also my first born. My husband on the other hand had to stop at both grandparents when we were finally able to bring him home! lol Thankfully it was summer but I did insist on ppl washing their hands before handling him, especially the nieces/nephews. So I guess, as long as you don't have your baby around anyone who's sick and use common sense I'm thinking it will be fine

Terri - posted on 11/20/2008

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hi, my daughter was born at 30wks and only weighed 2lbs 10oz when we took her home 4 weeks later, I have always taken her out as I did with my 2 full term children, she has never been ill and is now 11 months old, all babies need exposure to a certain amount of germs otherwise they will not develop an immune system and will always be sickly, preemies are alot tougher than people think and all babies need fresh air.

Kate - posted on 11/20/2008

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my son was born 6 weeks early and in february- flu season- i kept him in doors except for walks and brief outings and did not allow visitors for a long time- about 4 months. the flu and rsv are very dangerous for premature babies. my son remained healthy and i would do it the same way again. premature babies have very delicate imune systems and think you are being smart to be precautious- trust your mommy instincts!

Geneviève - posted on 11/20/2008

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My daughter was born at 35 weeks. I bring her pretty much everywhere since she's 4 months old. I was a little bit scared to go in public places with her at first because I didn't want her to catch anything and also, my daughter was eating every hour or two when we we're lucky, so it wasn't pleasant to get out at that time.

Follow your mommy instincts. She's still small and it's not a big deal if you don't bring her outside just yet.

Jennifer - posted on 11/19/2008

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Hi Kelly. My daughter was born at 28 weeks; she's 15 months old now. She was in the NICU for a little over 7 weeks & released in September. Since it was the start of RSV season our doctors recommended for us to keep her home except to keep doctor appointments. We only took her out for doctor appointments & walks around the neighborhood for the first 6 months. Then it was several more months before we took her out where there were large crowds like the mall or Wal-Mart. We may have been a little over protective, but it was worth it; Ainsley has only had 2 minor colds. I would suggest that if you're not comfortable bringing her out & you don't have to, then stay home with her. In the end it's really what you feel is best for your daughter & your family. I hope this helps & I wish you and Scarlett all the best!

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